Cruz, who made the trek to the early presidential primary state to speak at a GOP fundraiser, did his best to rally more-moderate Republicans behind a platform of economic growth, which he called "ideas that unify Republicans."
"They are principles and ideals that unify the evangelical community, the liberty movement and the business community," Cruz said. "Growth and freedom are principles that bring together Main Street and the Tea Party."
Although Cruz has not declared his candidacy for the 2016 presidential nomination, his 45-minute speech in Des Moines Friday was a necessary step in expanding his base beyond the Tea Party conservative niche, The Des Moines Register said Saturday.
Cruz told the audience that his crusade to defund President Obama's Affordable Care Act might have succeeded had the entire party backed him up. "Had we stood together I'm convinced the outcome of this fight would be very, very different, but listen, none of us ever thought that taking on the Washington establishment was going to be easy," he said.